Air France Bomb: Disrupted flight finally arrives in Paris

Charles de Gaulle airport
Aerial view of Terminal 2A and 2B. Photo by Fyodor Borisov (used under the Creative Commons licence).

Air France Flight 463, which had to make an emergency landing in Mombasa after the discovery in the airplane toilet of what was thought to be a bomb, has finally arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France.

The plane was en route from the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to Paris when all 459 passengers and 14 crew members on the Boeing 777 were safely evacuated down airplane emergency slides at Moi International Airport.

Authorities later discovered the bomb was a fake explosive, rigged with cardboard, sheets of paper and a household timer. Air France CEO Frederic Gagey said the homemade apparatus was apparently placed in a lavatory cabinet during the flight.

On arrival today (Monday 21 December) in Paris, some of the passengers were clearly overwhelmed with relief, with some crying as they embraced loved ones.

Passenger Marine Gorlier said: “We thought we were going to die. Because of the speed of the airplane going down, we thought we would crash in the sea.”

Fellow traveller Antoine Dupont from Lille said: “I really admired the crew, because they thought it was a real bomb and they remained very serene. One of my grandchildren said: ‘The slide was super!'”

A retired French police officer was arrested by officials on arrival in the French capital.